WINDHOEK, JAN 25 – After criminals staged a roadblock and posed as police in order to orchestrate a car heist, police have issued a stern warning and since stepped up investigations to apprehend a suspected trio. A case of robbery with aggravating circumstances was opened after a woman was robbed of her vehicle over the weekend, and while it was later reunited with its owner, it would not turn out to be the best of reunifications after the car had been stripped off some parts.
In the past NamPol had recorded an increase in individuals pretending to be police officers for criminal purposes that included the trading in fake diamonds and theft, but had begun to decline.
However, according to Deputy Police Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, the cases are on the rise following this latest brazen attack and car-jacking.
“These type of incidents seems to be reappearing after cases of robbery with aggravating circumstances and impersonating a police officer was opened on Sunday, 23 January 2022 at Katutura Police Station where a 27-year-old woman was attacked and robbed off her vehicle by allegedly three male suspects wearing police uniform.”
The three suspects reportedly used a Nissan Tida vehicle with blue and red lights and had manned a roadblock on the Bl Road at the turn-off Florence Nightingale Road. While the vehicle was recovered, it was not quite the successful reunion the victim expected as her white Volkswagen Polo Tsi was found stripped of its part at Goreangab location.
Advice To the General Public on What to Look Out For
“A person who impersonates a police officer usually does so with the purpose of using such authority to commit offences. Such a person falsely pretends to be a member of the force by using a combination of techniques such as wearing any form of police clothing or uniform, which may include a uniform badge or anything that is designated to be worn by a police officer.”
Shikwambi added that a person can also impersonate a police officer by placing lights, logos, or other equipment on a personal vehicle to masquerade as a police vehicle. These individuals also unlawfully use police officers’ lost items such as appointment certificates, to enable them to be identified as police officers, in various occasions.
“It must be known that, genuine/real Police Officers: will identify themselves because our policies require that a member identify him/herself through a police appointment certificate and a member of the public must ask for that and always compare the physical facial appearance; the officers will be in full uniform even when manning a checkpoint and in most cases a branded police vehicle will be in the area. Be vigilant and observe the situation thoroughly. Note the branding on the vehicle and see if the stickers and the lights are a permanent fix. The public is urged to always contact their local police stations or a known police officer so as to report and or confirm the identification of the police officer.”
Repercussions and the Long Arm of the Law
While this incident is believed to have caused reputational damage, Shikwambi issued a stern warning to perpetrators who are caught masquerading as police officers.
“The incident has caused damage to the Namibian police force image as well as its reputation and therefore condemned in the strongest sense. It is a serious offence punishable by law and those to be found guilty of such an offence, upon conviction may be sentenced to a fine or to five years’ imprisonment or both. Not forgetting the additional charges of the crimes committed. Therefore, the public or would-be offenders are warned to desist from such criminality.”
She assured the public that NamPol was doing everything in its power to stop incidents and punish those who commit/ted such crimes accordingly.
“We wish to further assure members of the public that the Namibia police force will do everything in its power to ensure a stop to these types of incidents and ensure that the culprits are brought to book. We further wish to appeal to members of the public who may have any information regarding any individuals suspected to be involved in the commission of such offences to kindly contact their nearest police station.” – email@example.com